[caption id="attachment_25278" align="alignleft"]L to R: E’Darrius Smith, Jermaine Simmons and Aijalon “AJ” Morris[/caption]What’s on the minds of many high school students these days—the start of a new school year, getting a driver’s license, worrying whether they’ll make the team, perhaps daydreaming about college and sweating over SAT exams? But that’s not what three Black male high school students told a Children’s Defense Fund audience this summer they’re thinking and worrying about.
Like so many, I have been deeply disturbed by the senseless loss of Black male lives at the hands of law enforcement officials. I was particularly affected by Tamir Rice’s senseless death – a 12-year-old sixth grader who loved drawing, basketball, playing the drums, and performing in his school’s drum line. Sometimes his teacher had to remind him not to tap a song on his desk with his fingers. When Tamir, a mere boy child, was shot and killed last November, who was there to protect him?
Congress is about to strike a deal that takes care of seniors and doctors but leaves low-income and “at-risk” children short. Congress’ annual struggle to avoid cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians will continue to give seniors the care they need is widely considered must-pass bipartisan legislation. Known as the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) or “doc fix,” this annual process often provides a vehicle for moving other legislative health priorities.
Too much and for too long, we seem to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now is over $800 billion dollars a year. If we judge the United States of America by that, Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage…